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This Is the County With the Most Student Debt

Among the issues President Biden has chosen to address is the massive number of student loans in America. And, among the heated debates in Washington is whether he can make this decision alone, or does it have to go through Congress? One option he has presented is forgiveness of federal loans for those with incomes under $125,000. However, the level of debt forgiveness and income remains undecided.

High student debt can affect the financial lives of people who hold them for years, or even decades. One reason homeownership is falling among younger adults is these debt burdens. And, the consumer spending among this group is almost certainly compromised even with smaller purchases.

A 2019 report from New York Life found that taking on too much student loan debt was a top financial regret among the survey’s 2,200 adults who reported taking an average of 18-and-a-half years to pay down the debt.

The ability to pay down student loan debt depends on a lot of factors, notably whether or not the degree you borrowed against led to a good job in your present location. A graduate with a coveted diploma in a large city with many job opportunities may have an easier time paying off the debt than the graduate living in a less-populated area with fewer plum career opportunities.

With so much student debt sloshing around the country, many Americans find themselves defaulting on student loan payments.

To identify the county with the most student loan debt in collections, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median student loan debt in collections among those residents in every state with student loan debt in collections from non-profit think tank Urban Institute‘s Debt in America 2021 report. The Urban Institute used credit bureau data from 2020.

The share of student debt in collections, also from the Urban Institute, is the percentage of total individuals with any form of student debt that is open, deferred, and sent out to a collection agency. Educational attainment comes from the American Community Survey 2019 five-year estimates.

The county with the most student debt is York County, South Carolina. Here are the details:

> Median student debt in default: $23,965
> Student loan holders with student debt in default: 8.8% (#1,908 out of 2,934 counties)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2019: 33.3% (#372 out of 3,136 counties)

Click here to see all 50 counties with the most student debt.

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